Talk:Windows Internet Name Service

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How can one querry a Window client for its Netbios name?

On the command line type hostname (this works for XP and may work on other versions of Windows)
On the command line you can also type echo %computername% and this will tell you the hostname/NetBIOS name (using environment variable)
If you download a command line program called nblookup this is used to query WINS servers
In 2000/XP GUI, right click on My Computer and select Properties, click the Computer Name tab and where it reads Full Computer Name this is the hostname/NetBIOS name (previous versions of windows has it under My Network)
Zarief 11:11, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


chayashida: Is the name of this article correct? I just wrote up a change control form for work, and I found that WINS is listed as Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) in Add/Remove Windows Components, at least for Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition.

Huh[edit]

I don't know what a WINS server does, however after reading this article I came away just as confused. It probably needs a good rewrite by someone who knows their stuff —Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.73.109.153 (talk) 23:51, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah. It's pretty darned confusing. I want to other places and I think it's like this: Each computer is identified on the network with a cryptic number of some sort which no one likes to remember and work with. (Say, no one likes to call his laptop 348650346592365320.) So, people put names on their computers. Like Sarah-Laptop and Sarah-Desktop. Now, whenever you ask a computer to connect to Sarah-Desktop, it looks up Sarah-Desktop in WINS server to come up with its cryptic number. Now, the strange thing is that when there is no WINS, computers can still connect to each other. I think they sort of shout "who is Sarah-Desktop" on the whole network and wait till somebody says "that'd be me". Though don't ask me how one can shout in a network. 188.158.176.161 (talk) 15:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

What's it good for?[edit]

Based on the article, it sounds like WINS is only used on networks still running NETBIOS and needing the equivalent of DNS. But hardly anyone uses NETBIOS anymore. So is there any other purpose? --Gmuir 15:00, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Just because something is old does not mean it is irrelevant. In fact, I came to this page wanting to know more about WINS (from Samba). 0x6adb015 (talk) 16:47, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
. . . but it would be good to have this made clearer in the article? I came across the page by accident but was interested and confused. Was this just another attempt by MS to expand it's quasi-monopoly?? LookingGlass (talk) 19:26, 6 March 2008 (UTC)


. . . . WINS is still a critical component for many enterprise networks, I worked as a WINS Admin for 5 years to fix a network where when I started 140,000 users were using nearly 400 WINS servers, now running on just 65 dedicated servers and it does not go wrong, this number will be reduced further too. Microsoft do want it gone they dont like to develop any patches / bug fixes for it and having looked at its guts i know why. --Ivorgarcia (talk) 23:46, 6 March 2008 (UTC)


wow I had no clue how broad the reference is for the WINS SERVER —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.212.118.202 (talk) 16:45, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Deprecated[edit]

The article should mention the fact that WINS is a deprecated technology and that GNZ should be used if single-name resolution is necessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.161.122.66 (talk) 11:15, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Just My Two Cents[edit]

To understand the function of WINS, one needs first understand the way SMB works. Small windows networks don't have a server, so they can't rely on a server to find another machines, share files or anything. So the workstations need a way to talk to each other without the need of a server. This way is the NETBIOS service. NETBIOS is a very old service, even older than TCP/IP on PCs. It works based on broadcasts. Basically, when a workstation needs to talk to another one (said, Sara-Laptop needs to talk to Sara-Desktop ), it just broadcasts a query, and if Sara-Desktop is active and available, it replies to the query. There are some situations where Sara-Desktop is active but cannot reply directly to Sara-Laptop, so NETBIOS defines a role called "master browser", and from times to times, one of the workstations is elected to this role. All the workstations register to the master browser; when one of them need to know about other one, it still broadcasts for it, but now the master browser can answer for the queries.

One problem remain unsolved: as NETBIOS name resolution works with broadcasts, it's not possible to locate workstations that belong to other broadcast domains (i.e., two networks linked by a WAN). WINS came to solve this situation; it haves a well known address, and all workstations on the workgroup register to it. When there's a WINS server configured, the workstations no longer need to broadcast searching another workstations; instead, they query for them directly to the WINS server.

Now, you may ask me: "Why don't you just put this in the article?", hey, this is a very unformal description of the WINS function, and I don't have the tecnical details needed to write a good article. Zekkerj (talk) 16:24, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. It was a good read anyway. Very great to understand. You may consider contributing it to the simple.Wikipedia.org domain if they have this article over there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.48.134.115 (talk) 20:45, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Incorrect Analogies to DNS[edit]

Everything that this article assumes about DNS is wrong:

  • DNS is not just a "central mapping of host names to network addresses" -- DNS is a system for serving resource records that can represent more than just "network addresses"
  • DNS is not implemented in two "parts" -- DNS is a complex system for delegating authority to serve RRs. If there were "parts" to DNS, there would be three, not two:
  1. Authoritative nameserver
  2. Recursive resolver
  3. DNS client
  • DNS does not strictly use a "TCP/IP client component" -- DNS defaults to UDP for communication, using TCP primarily for large transfers (i.e. AXFR requests). The comparison here is very misleading.

Megastopheles (talk) 06:12, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

  1. Interesting info! 68.48.134.115 (talk) 20:42, 1 November 2014 (UTC)